Lordship's First Firehouse


1912, Lordship depended upon an ancient hand-drawn chemical fire engine rigged up on high wheels that took a team of mules to move it. This was installed in the office of the Lordship Land Company occupied by the local grocery store (Lordship Casino) on Jefferson Street. In February 1917, the Lordship Volunteer Firemen were officially joined the State Firemen Association and were designated Stratford Fire Company No. 3. In 1918 Fred Donaldson Sr. was placed in charge of the engine company which carried about 500 feet of 2 inch hose. In 1921 the second firehouse was built on Pauline Street on what is now the teachers parking lot at Lordship School. Fred Donaldson Sr. was placed in charge of the engine company in this building. Private Donaldson worked 24 hours a day and had one day off a week. The work week was reduced from 168 hours a week to 84 hours a week and later reduced to 72 hours a week. In 1938 the building was sold to Tiburzis Lordship Market building and he rented the bottom floor to the town for the fire engine. The present station was completed in 1941. By 1950 the work week had gone down to 56 hours per week and in 1967 was reduced to 42 hours a week.

Lordship's Second Firehouse


June 6, 1915: HAS STRATFORD A FIRE DEPARTMENT: During the festivities at Lordship yesterday afternoon a group of Bridgeporters were talking to the Stratford selectman and someone jokingly remarked: It is a fine place, but in case of fire the whole area would be razed. Is that so, you have not reckoned on the Stratford Fire Department, remarked Doctor Curtis. This caused a laugh all around but Curtis not to be outdone said we will show you. He immediately telephoned to the fire department at Stratford and ordered the chemical engine to Lordship. Just seven and a half minutes after the message was transmitted the giant auto chemical, in charge of Chief Judson, came thundering up the Stratford road to the Lordship Casino in a cloud of dust and amid the wild cheering of the crowd. Selectman Curtis was warmly congratulated on the efficiency of the Stratford Fire Department as well as on his readiness to prove that Stratford is a live town. Surely had there been a fire at Lordship it would have gained little headway in that short lapse of time. Indeed man fires in Bridgeport remain unprotected for longer periods. Our hat is off to Stratford and to Selectman Curtis.

June 11, 1915: The board of fire commissioners has purchased two new chemical tanks to supplant those on the present chemical engine. The old ones will be placed on hand drawn apparatus for use at Lordship Park. Under this arrangement Lordship will receive the protection that has been requested.

October 2, 1915: FIREMEN ATTENDING FUNERAL, DWELLING BURNS TO GROUND: Lack of firemen and a testy neighbor who insisted upon using her party line telephone to the exclusion of a woman who wanted to call fire apparatus, conspired in the destruction of a handsome $2,500 bungalow owned by W. C. Nichols at Lordship Park Frida afternoon. Fire Chief Judson of the Stratford department, which was summoned to the scene long after the blaze had got beyond control, made a record run to the park in six minutes. The building with its contents was destroyed at a total loss of $3,500 covered by insurance. The fire started it is believed from a defective chimney and when discovered by Mrs. Nichols the entire attic was ablaze. The Lordship firemen were attending the funeral of John Kenworthy and were in ignorance of the event.

January 16, 1916 - LORDSHIP IS MENACED BY BLAZE: Fighting heroically against a fire which broke out yesterday afternoon about 5 pm n a cottage recently constructed by the Bridgeport Housing Company near the entrance to Lordship Park and a wind like a tornado, members of the Stratford and Lordship Park fire departments probably prevented what might have wiped out the colony. The building in which the fire originated was completely gutted by the flames which started from a defective furnace, but thanks to the efforts of the fire fighters the flames were confined to one building alone. The damage is estimated at approximately $2,000. At the time the fire started, a number of truckmen were engaged in moving into the cottage, the furniture of a family who have recently moved into Bridgeport from Dayton, Ohio. Smoke ascending from the cellar gave the first alarm that a fire had started in the building. Rushing into the basement, the men discovered that the cold air box, located near the furnace was ablaze. Inasmuch as the water had not been turned on in the new building, the situation in which the men found themselves was a serious one. The turned to with a will, however, and fought the blaze with might and main, until a telephone call had succeeded in bringing the Stratford and the Lordship Park fire departments to the rescue. Upon the arrival of the firemen the water was turned on. Handicapped by the severe weather and a howling gale of wind, the firemen labored for two hours under most trying conditions before the flames were finally placed under control. A number of the firemen were obliged to quit their posts at frequent intervals and seek the shelter of neighboring houses where they thawed out their nearly frozen bodies. At one time, while the fire was at its worst, it looked as if the blaze might clean out the entire cluster of houses located in the immediate vicinity. Only the excellent work of the firemen and the fact that the nearby houses were constructed for the most part of brick and slate, saved the little colony from utter destruction.


Volunteer Firemen 1917

January 16, 1918: FIRE THREATENS WHOLE COLONY AT LORDSHIP MANOR: Fire starting from a defective furnace did damage of about $2,000 to a new cottage being erected at Lordship Manor by the Bridgeport Housing Company and for a time threatened the entire colony with destruction. There was a strong wind blowing at the time and it was only by the most desperate efforts that the fire departments of Stratford and Lordship confined the blaze in the building which it started.

May 9, 1919: HORKHEIMBER IS POPULAR CHIEF: The choice of Jacob Horkheimer, captain of Number 3 chemical company of the Stratford fire department as assistant chief, which was made at the last meeting of the board of fire and police commissioners seems to meet with the approval of the taxpayers. His long experience as an assistant chief engineer of the Bridgeport department brings to the Stratford department a man fitted in every way to not only instruct men in the proper way to handle a fire but to jump right in and fight a fire himself. For the past few years he has been living at Lordship Manor, moving to that part of Stratford after he was retired from the Bridgeport department. When Company No. 3 was organized he was elected its captain and has spent many hours in putting the other members of the company through a school of firefighting so that today the men able to fight a blaze no matter how bad in a way that will get the best results. When the new auto chemical was assigned to this company the men were given another course of training so that they would be ready for any emergency that might arise. So severe has been the course of training that has been given the men by Assistant Chief Horkheimer that there have times when some of the members of No. 3 Company have tried every method to dodge the practice work cut out for them and it has been necessary for Chief Horkheimer to talk right up to his men. Now that the period of training is over all of the members of the company feel that they have much to thank their chief for as he has shown them how to best serve the community. Grass fires which are one of the most serious conflagrations which have to be fought by the Stratford firemen have been started at Lordship by the men so that they could have the experience of fighting the fire. The story is told of a mistake being made by one of the firemen in not starting a grass fire at the point told by Chief Horkheimer and as a result some hard work having to be done in order to save some buildings. It was necessary to get out the hose and to wet down a large part of a meadow in order to quench the blaze that had been started. Stratford is fortunate in its heads of the fire department with Chief Allen Judson at the center and Horkheimer at Lordship. The only thing now lacking in the department is more permanent men. It will be some time before there are many more men permanently added to the department owing to the funds of the town not permitting any extra expense. Some of the members of the fire board feel that it may be possible to add another man this fall after the board of finance have made up their budget and it is certain that they will ask for at least one more man to be stationed permanently at the central fire house.

February 20, 1920: GRASS FIRE AT LORDSHIP: Members of the Stratford Fire department were called at the close of the special town meeting Tuesday night to fight a raging grass fire at Lordship Park. It was a long cold ride for the firemen on one of the new automobiles of the fire department driven by Chief Allen Judson who was able to drive down Main Street at a high rate of speed, their being no traffic to dodge. The firemen upon their arrival at Lordship were soon warmed-up as the fire had a good start in the long grass and was rapidly approaching some of the fine residences. With the aid of brooms the men were able to put out the flames but not until a considerable area was burned over.

October 17, 1921 - There goes Frank Sharon, president of the Lordship Fire company. The companys new home there where the trolley bends around the corner is to be opened tonight. You got to hand it to those Lordship people - they're right on the job.

December 9, 1921: Town Manager R.H. Hunter was denied the rumors to the effect that the Nichols Avenue and Lordship firehouse, better known as Number 2 and number 3 were to be abandoning the Nichols Avenue house, but a denial is made that either is to be done away with. Perhaps he thinks they are not worth abandoning especially the trick truck at Lordship that sometimes only runs backwards.

January 6, 1922 - STRATFORD FIRE CHIEF ACCUSED BY VOLUNTEERS: Charge Head of Regulars Seeks to Put Them Out of Business. Feeling Runs High - Judson Denies Impeachment and Is Backed by Town Manager: A bitter feud between members of the volunteer fire departments of the town and Chief Allen D. Judson, head of the regular fire department at Stratford Center, has been uncovered as a result of the charges made at Tuesday night's council meeting that Chief Judson is trying to "put the Nichols Avenue department out of business." Chief Judson vigorously denies that he is trying to do any such thing. Town Manager R. H. Hunter also asserts that "Chief Judson has not done away with the Nichols Avenue department nor is he trying to do so." Judson also denies that he was responsible for "putting the Lordship fire department out of commission" as charged by councilmen at Monday's meeting. There is strong feeling between the members of the volunteer fire departments and the chief. A manifestation of this is seen in the fact that the Lordship fire company, following its recent dissolution, has re-organized stronger than ever, and has now been organized as an incorporated body. It has built a new fire house and is the predominant civic organization at Lordship at the present time.

January 27, 1922: The paid men in the Nichols Avenue and Lordship Manor fire houses who were being maintained at a cost to the town of $240 a month, have been relieved from duty, members of the volunteer departments agreeing to man the apparatus at both these houses without expense to the town.

March 20, 1923 - ASKS FIRE FORCES OF LORDSHIP TO END DIFFERENCES: Town Manager Hunter of Stratford Appeals to Companies to "Get Together." FIGHT OVER ENGINE - Two Organizations Seek Rights to Only Piece of Fire Apparatus in Manor: Town Manager R. H. Hunter has appealed to the residents of Lordship Manor, particularly the members of the two rival volunteer fire companies there, to "get together" on the matter of fire protection in that district. With two fire companies in the field and only me piece of apparatus, the town manager has been authorized by the council to decide which company shall have the piece of apparatus. It is at present in the custody of the Stratford Fire Company No. 3. The other organization is the Lordship Fire Company Inc. As the situation now stands the members of Stratford Fire company No. 3 will feel aggrieved if the piece of fire apparatus now in their house is taken from them and given into the keeping of the Lordship Fire Company Inc. On the other hand, members of the incorporated company feel that they are entitled to have the piece of apparatus and that it should be taken from No. 3 Company and turned over to them. Realizing that one company or the other is going to feel aggrieved as the situation now exists, the town manager has appealed to members of both organizations to bury the hatchet and pull together for the best interests of the district as a whole. If the members of the rival organizations can not get together, the town manager will award the piece of apparatus to one of the two existing companies. He is reluctant to do this until it is shown that the two cannot join hands, instead of working at cross purposes when both are out to achieve the same end.

June 14, 1923 - Lordship Fire Department held a fire drill last night and found Chemical No. 3 in good "working order. Eighteen hydrants were tested and found all in good condition.

November 17, 1923 - GARAGE BURNS DOWN: A one-story garage containing an automobile roadster and other contents was destroyed in a fire at Lordship about 2:30 o'clock this morning. A short circuit is believed to have started the fire. The garage was owned by John Bodell of Gorham Street and the car was the property of the Hawley Hardware Company, for which concern Bodell's son works. Stratford Fire Company No. 3. was called out but the fire had gained such headway before it was discovered, that it was impossible to save the building or contents. The loss was approximately $1,000.

July 4, 1924 - The members of Stratford Fire department Company No. 1, at Stratford Center, have been aroused by reports from Lordship that the firemen down there are "considerable" ball players. The members of No. 1 Company admit that they may not be Babe Ruths or Christy Mathewsons, but they feel that by drafting Dave Dinan, Pat Flanagan or other members of the Police department, quartered in the adjoining building, they can take the measure of the Lordship firemen on the baseball diamond. They issued this statement today in the nature of a challenge to the ball-swatters of the Lordship meadows.


1928 Lordship Captain


1928 Lordship firetruck


Firehouse Ads


Capt. Donaldson


2nd Firehouse


3rd Firehouse


SVF 1947 members

December 14, 1924: Firemen Sleep as Fire Sweeps Lordship House: Real rural comedy prevailed at the fire which completely destroyed the summer home of Bradford Crawford, a Lordship trolley line motorman on Wednesday night. While the flames leaped through the frail structure, the members of the Stratford Fire department No. 3 stationed at Lordship, slept silently on wondering perhaps if they could catch the 7:10 the next day. A late home comer discovered the flames and woke a fair portion of the shore resort and notified Chief Allen Judson and his trusty warriors of the center house. A quick run was made to the beach, while the Lordship volunteers, now partially awake were pushing and shoving and attempting to make the $900 Vim truck budge. Both companies reached the fire shortly after and chemical lines were put on the fire. Several firemen grabbed axes and while the fire was burning slowly with a chance to put it out, these trusty workers smashed in the front and rear doors of the house and allowed a wonderful southeast breeze to sweep through the structure and help along the flames. The men stood aghast wondering why the fire took sudden life. Chemicals were slow to mix with the water in the tanks and it took some time to get it on the fire, both companies acting very sparingly with the aqua.

July 21, 1925: LORDSHIP COTTAGE IS RAZED BY FIRE: Fire destroyed the cottage of O. Rasmussen of Bridgeport, when an oil stove exploded, causing damages estimated at about $1,000. The cottage, a modern structure, had been inhabited by Mr. Rasmussen and his family since early June, until last week when he leased it to a neighbor. Both the Lordship and the Stratford fire companies responded, but due to the location of the building, down at the far end of the board walk, they were unable to save the structure. Two tents, one on either side of the house were also burned.

October 28, 1925 - Numerous Halloween parties are being planned for the week, the first of which will be a masquerade party given in the Lordship club rooms on Wednesday evening by the office force of the American Fabrics Company of Bridgeport. A Kiddie-party and dance will be held in the fire hall on Wednesday evening by the Quam Loma Club of Bridgeport, for which Mrs. Arthur, formerly Miss Minnie Jacob of First Avenue is a member of the committee on arrangements. The regular whist and pinochle will be held in the fire hall on Thursday evening by the Fire Company. A Halloween masquerade dance is to be given by the Lordship Fire Company in the fire hall, when Charles Franz, John Bodell, G. E. Ruther, John Saul, John Allen, Joseph Larsen and Jacob Horkheimer are to be in charge. Entertaining prizes will be awarded for many varieties of original costumes and music will be provided by an ensemble of local musicians under Leslie Moore's direction, namely G. Bateman, L. Vaughn and Frank Miller. An elaborate and interesting program is being planned for the Halloween party and dance which the Lordship Club will give on Saturday evening, according to the endeavor of the committee of which A. N. Near is chairman, assisted by Mrs. A. R. Kuehne, Miss Christine Bunting, Mrs. A. Russell and J. W. Black. Tickets for members and their friends were issued a few days ago. Owing to the inclemency of the weather on Saturday the Lordship Camp-fire Girls postponed the hike they had scheduled for that day to another Saturday shortly.

November 2, 1926 - The polls will open at six o'clock Tuesday morning and will close at six in the evening. Polling places will be as follows: First District: Lordship fire house Precinct 1. Sedgewlck School, Precinct 2.

January 12, 1927 - In presenting his recommendations for the improvement of conditions in the Fire department, Town Manager Carlton Reed said the following improvements can be made and they are therefore recommended at this time: The apparatus at Lordship has be carefully inspected and is in good running condition. Without in any way relieving the volunteer companies of their responsibilities to take proper care of there respective pieces of apparatus the recommendation is hereby made that a member of the paid department make at least weekly inspections of the apparatus both at Lordship and at Nichols Avenue and ascertain that there is a sufficient supply of gasoline, oil and water in the apparatus and that it is in good running condition and that all things pertaining to the apparatus and to the housing of the same are in a satisfactory condition. Further, that the result of these inspections be reported to the town manager on the fire chiefs weekly reports. Efforts have been made to install a siren at the Lordship fire house to be operated on the same principle as the police alarm boxes are now operated. However, the general manager of the Southern New England Telephone Company would not recommend such a system because the siren would have to be operated through the Bridgeport telephone exchange over about nine miles of cable to the firehouse at Lordship. In his opinion, the resistance that would be included in this long cable would make the operation of the siren impracticable.

March 18, 1927 - The fire siren recently ordered for installation at the Lordship fire house has arrived and will be installed at the fire station within a few days.

November 16, 1927 - Town Manager Carlton Reed with Fire Chief Allen D. Judson and other officials will meet with members of the volunteer fire company at Lordship Thursday for the purpose of reorganizing the company in preparation for turning over to the company one of the recently acquired pumping engines which is now ready for use.

November 19, 1927 - Newly Acquired Apparatus May Necessitate Alteration of Firehouses: Town Manager Carlton Reed and File Chief Allen D. Judson made a trip to Lordship Thursday night to consult with residents there relative to placing the Lordship fire house in condition to house one of the newly acquired pumping engines which is now ready to be placed in commission in this district. It is planned to appoint two new permanent men to the Fire department, one to have charge of the piece of apparatus at Lordship, the other to have charge of the piece of apparatus at the Nichols Avenue house. Due to the size of these pumping engines it has been found necessary to arrange for some changes in the layout of the volunteer houses to accommodate the big machines.

December 31, 1927 - LORDSHIP FIREMEN TO HOLD NEW YEAR'S DANCE: The Lordship Fire Company, Inc. will hold its annual New Year's celebration at the fire hall New Year's Eve. All residents of Lordship and their friends are invited to attend. An orchestra will play for dancing. Refreshments will be served. The committee in charge of arrangements included John R. Saul, Bertram Near, Peter J. Ring and Harry Walsh.

February 12, 1928 - LORDSHIP HAS MODERN FIRE COMPANY: Gasoline and chemicals are now doing the work that hand pumps and a bucket brigade used to do years ago when Lordship Manor turned out to a fire. For Lordship is now the proud possessor of a modern firefighting engine, an organized fire company and one paid permanent official. When someone first realized that Lordship was a desirable residential section and built his house within sound of the road of the sea on the shores of Long Island Sound, his example was soon discovered that this seaside district offered many advantages especially in the summer months. With homes springing up here and there the need of some sort of fire protection presented itself. Strangely enough throughout the entire history of Lordship, there have never been any serious conflagrations of such a nature as to menace the village; although big fires that have occurred and they can be counted on the fingers of one hand, have resulted in practically total loss. Old records show that on several occasions the residents have turned out in the early days and attached a blazing shed or a burning barn with a bucket brigade. It is said to that one of the first residents of Lordship, one Tim Dooley, had the reputation of being the expert bucket thrower in the state. Coming down to more recent date, 1912, Lordship depended upon an ancient hand-drawn chemical fire engine rigged up on high wheels that took a team of mules to move it. This was installed in the office of the Lordship Land Company occupied by the local grocery store. Stories are told of how this machine was taken out occasionally for a run, drawn by a pair of husky mules and of one particular turn out this time to a blazing barn when the devil is said to have got into the mules who set off from the grocery store at a smart hand gallop which developed into a wild helter-skelter, the machine arriving at the scene of the fire many minutes before the firemen who had been spilled out on to the road in the engines mad career. This machine did duty till 1920 when after long agitation to the Stratford Town authorities, on the part of residents of Lordship, a new machine was provided. This engine was a vast improvement on the old affair being driven by a gasoline motor and with other appliances, lengths of hose, shovels, brooms, etc. as well as a coat of vivid official scarlet which gave the new machine a truly businesslike appearance, pleased the people greatly. Manned by a volunteer crew selected from the Lordship residents the fire engine formed the first real step in the establishment of a fire company for the district. Then came the organization of a regular fire company and on its fire hall on Pauline Street was built with funds for its erection being provided by the proceeds of the members of the Lordship Fire Company Inc. Taking the place of the old Lordship Political Club, the Lordship Fire Company apart from being a purely business organization formed for the purpose of establishing an organized fire fighting aggregation and for building a hall in which to house the new engine, had the welfare of the district and its development as its objective. The honor of being the first chief of the Lordship Fire Company went to J. Hocheimer who left his post as Assistant Chief of the Stratford Fire Department under Chief Judson to take over the position. G.E. Ruther was appointed secretary a post he has held ever since after some ten years of office. I do not think that there is another town in the whole United States which possesses quite such a unique organization as this, Mr. Ruther told the Sunday Post. It is one instance of what a community can do when it gets together for the welfare of the district. The establishment of this fire company may be said to be first incentive towards the popularization of Lordship and having its advantage as a residential section on the famous Long Island Sound made known. We put up the present building with money out of the pockets of the Lordship people and in spite of many vicissitudes of a comparatively modern engine and a paid hand. Frank Sharon of Cherry Street, A. Henderson of Third Avenue and John Erecsson carried out the work of erecting the new fire hall, which is doing duty not only as a home for the fire-fighting apparatus, but as a social club. John Saul succeeded Mr. Hocheimer as captain of the company and holds that position today, the personnel of the engine and hose crew being taken from among the fifty members that now make up the organization. The following are the officers of the Lordship Fire Company Inc. and the engine crew: President John Saul; First Vice-president Raymond Hawley; Second Vice-president Peter Ring; Secretary G.E. Ruther; Treasurer Theo Jorgensen. The Officers of the active fire brigade are: Captain John Saul; Lieutenant Harry Mudgett; 1st Hoseman Peter Ring; Engineer and Driver Harry Walsh (paid permanent official), Hydrant man Charles Hubbard; Hosemen Robert Fisher, Theo Jorgensen, Charles Franz, Ernest Blanchette, Joe Larsen, Al Bodell, Al Beucher, Al Tiburzi. None of the volunteer crew receive any remuneration for there services apart from the rebatement of personal tax. Although there is no finite statement to the effect, it is rumor that there is a movement afoot to organize a womens bucket brigade and salvage corps. On more than one occasion when there has been fires in Lordship the women have acted as an auxiliary to the men and rendered what assistance they could particularly during the Anderson fire two years ago when the whole family nearly lost their lives in a blaze that destroyed the entire home is a few moments. Lordship fire losses are comparatively small, said Captain Saul to the Sunday Post, and when you consider how isolated we have hitherto be and with but indifferent apparatus to work with, the boys here have put on a very fine record. Among the reminiscences of Lordship fires is that of the burning in 1925 of the Hindley house occupied by Charles Nichols at the corner of Ocean Avenue and First Avenue. The fire broke out in the house during the funeral of the late Dr. J. Kenworthy. The entire fire company was attending the services, as well as a large number of residents. When the firemen returned from the funeral they found to their dismay that the big Hindley home was a mass of smoldering ruin. The gutting of the Anderson home one wild February night in 1926 was an instance of the need of better protection as afforded now. Owing to the bad conditions of the roads and to snow drifts the apparatus was not able to get near to the fire and by the time the Stratford Fire Department arrived, the building was doomed. The one somewhat unusual feature of the fire was the fact it is stated that the Stratford Fire Department turned up without any hose! Some years ago one of the houses of the Triangle caught fire and as ill-luck would have it there were none of the crew available to take the apparatus to the scene of the blaze. The roads were choked with ice and snow so it was with the utmost difficulty that Mr. Ruther and a colleague managed to make a somewhat erratic course to the fire dragging the chemical behind them. The two men fought the fire manfully till the men of the Stratford Department resolved the situation.

1931: One of two Robinson fire trucks purchased from Bridgeport sent to Lordship. In 1935, a used Mack was overhauled and sent to Lordship to replace the Robinson.

May 6, 1938: LORDSHIP FIRE APPARATUS TO BE MOVED OUT: Tiburzi Wants Building For His Own Use So Town Must Move: Just another headache for the town council! The Lordship fire apparatus must be moved to new quarters. The present owner of the former Lordship Fire House, Al Tiburzi, is planning extensive alterations and he wants the entire lower floor of the building, which he recently purchased from the Lordship Fire Company for his own use. Just to prove that the fire apparatus is not wanted the sanitary facilities have been cut off at the building. Both Town Manager William Shea and Fire Chief Allen Judson have conferred with the owner about restoring the services, but he is adamant. The Lordship apparatus, first a hand drawn cart, then a Robinson pump and now a Mack pump, has been stored in the lower floor of the two story building on Pauline Street, between Crown and Prospect Drive for many years. All this, however, was while the building was owned by the firemen. In return for storage purpose, a stove, rights and sanitary facilities the town paid $350 per year for rental all of which went toward payment of taxed on the structure. The need for new quarters for the apparatus can not be termed a surprise move at this time. The new owner warned the town several months ago that he would take possession of the entire building for his own use. Nothing was ever done about the warning until now. Councilman Peter Ring who is also a member of the Lordship Volunteer Fire Company will now have to present the matter to the town council. There is no way out. The owner wants his building and the residents and property owners of Lordship, isolated from the rest of the town want and need the apparatus properly housed.

Lordship's Third Firehouse

July 15, 1938: SNIFFEN REPORTS THREE SITES FOR BEACH FIREHOUSE: Three sites are available for a fire house in the Lordship district, Councilman Everett Sniffen, chairman of a special committee to study sites, reported at the meeting last Monday night. It is anticipated that a decision on the location of the firehouse at the next meeting of the town council. Sniffen said that the town already owns one site at Lordship Road and Prospect Drive, a second had been offered by Peter Davey and is located at Jefferson Street and Stratford Road and the Lordship Park Association offers a site for $2,000 opposite the Crystal Ballroom.

December 11, 1940 - HUBBELL COMPANY BREAKS GROUND FOR FIREHOUSE IN LORDSHIP: Ground was broken for the new $12,000 Lordship firehouse on Prospect Drive, Stratford yesterday Councilman Peter Ring, chairman of the Firehouse committed announced. The contract has been awarded to the S.W. Hubbell building company of Bridgeport. Frederick Beckwith is the architect for the building which will be of Dutch Colonial design 35 feet by 50 feet. There will be two doors. The additional one may be used for future expansion but only one piece of apparatus will be kept there at present time. There will be a social room upstairs as well as a small community room. The start of the actual construction climaxes a long struggle by Councilman Ring to obtain adequate housing for the Lordship apparatus and he reports that he is well satisfied with the plans for the building.


May 9, 1941: NEW LORDSHIP FIRE STATION OPENS: Great interest was shown in the completion of the new Lordship fire station and at the formal opening ceremonies Monday evening. Councilman Peter Ring said that about 1,500 people had inspected the structure in the past few days. The new station is an attractively designed two story brick structure which will house two engines but at present has only one assigned to it. The second floor includes a recreation hall, a sleeping room with four cots, a shower room and a storeroom. For the present there will be one paid fireman and three volunteers on duty at all times. Among the town officials who attended the dedication Monday night were: Town Manager William Shea; Council Chairman Vernon Morehouse; Councilman Peter Ring, chairman of the building committee and his associates Councilmen Edgar Kimball and Joseph McGrath; Councilmen Carleton Schwable, Herman Leveen and Joseph Janosko, Jr.; Chief Allen Judson and Assistant Chief William Anthony. Fred Donaldson is captain of the company and there are 25 members. The S.W. Hubbell Building Co. was the general contractor and Frederick Beckwith was architect. C. W. Carlson installed the plumbing and heating systems and Fanton & Roberts did the roofing. The asphaltic drive was laid by the Silliman & Godfrey Co.

April 5, 1942: STRATFORD COUNCIL WILL IGNORE LORDSHIP VAMPS: The fight between the Lordship volunteer firemen and Town of Stratford officials over a scarcity of appointees to the Fire Department from the 10th District has developed into a battle royal. The bout will go into round two a week from tomorrow night when the Town officials will refuse to attend a meeting of the Lordship group although invitations will have been received by Council Chief Schwable, Town Manager Shea and Fire Chief Allen Judson from the Lordship boys. At least that is what Schwable said the Town official will do when they get the invitations. The volunteers want the big boys to journey to Lordship to discuss ways and means of getting 10th District fire-eaters into the Town fire department as paid workers. The 25 active members of the Lordship unit, Volunteer Fire Company No. 3 charge discrimination in that members were appointed to the three vacancies in the paid department recently while nobody was named from their section. The charges were aired in a pyrotechnic blast session Friday night as the Lordship gang called a special session to plan their official protest to Town Manager Shea. The boys decided to invite the Town Fathers into the sticks on April 13 and ask them two questions. 1) Why are not Lordship men appointed to the paid Fire Department? 2) Where is the badly needed firefighting equipment that has been promised to Lordship for some time? The petition was forwarded to Stratford Center after the volunteers had tabled a plan to dissolve their organization completely. They claim their organization is one of the best firefighting gangs in town and under the leadership of Captain Martin Moore, they claim their abilities are well known. Councilman Peter Ring of the 10th District attended the special meeting and promised his boys he would get some action from the Council on the situation. Shea claims he and Chief Judson appointed the new men to the department on the basis of ability and experience. The firemen are determined to fight it out along these lines if it takes all summer. They claim they have been sending qualified candidates to the Center for years and none of them have ever received the benefit of the doubt from Shea and Judson. Their beef has some factual basis for a survey yesterday showed a paid fireman never has been appointed from Lordship. They claim their last bunch of candidates were not given interviews as is customary. The only one of the three to be seen by Shea and Judson they say, finally got a hearing the same night the three successful men were appointed to the force. The Lordship boys also kick about the equipment with which they are supposed to fight fires. They said they had only one helmet on the first truck that would fit a normal sized head and two others fit for a midget. They also claim there are no boots on the truck and the two gas masks are in poor condition. Schwable did not waste much time slapping the 10th District boys ears back yesterday after stories of the protest meeting reached him. To begin with he said, Judson, Shea, the Council and he would not appear at the meeting April 13th in Lordship. That is the night of our regular Council meeting and no little clique like the one in Lordship is going to dictate to us and stop us from holding a regular weekly session, he said. Schwable labeled most of the kicking Lordshippers as newly arrived defense workers who only are sleeping in Lordship anyway and said few of them are taxpayers. On the suggested plan that the Lordship unit disband completely in accord, as far as I am personally concerned the Lordship unit does not exist anyway and I told the Town Manager that today, he said. If they want to cause us a lot of trouble after all we have done for them, its time Shea and Judson wipe their organization from the Town rolls and start building a new one. The red hot steel dropped from his lips as he continued. Mr. Shea has picked good men and that Lordship gang is not going to dictate to him as to methods for appointing the men. I say and I told Mr. Shea this too, the Lordship unit should be erased and officially disbanded for insubordination. Schwable said new equipment has been ordered for Lordship and that it should arrive any day. We have not time to play puss in the corner with the Lordship bunch. If they want to know what I think of their organization, tell them I think it consists of nothing but a clubhouse. The Lordship men will continue their fight for recognition tomorrow night at the Council meeting when a committee is expected to appear and invite the big boys to the 10th District for a jam session on April 13 and it will not be sweet.

April 10, 1942: LORDSHIP FIREFIGHTERS TO APPEAL TO COUNCIL: Claim Discrimination In Selection Of Three New Appointees: Although the consensus of opinion seems to be that it will do them no good, members of the Lordship Volunteer fire department are determined to call on the Town Council to take some action on the recent appointments to the paid fire department. Councilman Peter Ring Jr. has taken up the cudgel for the protesting firemen, but from the attitude of the powers that be this will mean nothing at all. The difficulty is over the appointment of three new firefighters, which the Lordship firemen charge displayed discrimination, because the new appointees were taken from Companies 1 and 2 without giving the boys from Lordship a chance to even receive an interview. Only one was given an interview, it is said and the other two of the three Lordship applicants were entirely ignored. The result of the talk going around is that a petition is being prepared which will be submitted to the Town Council for action, but it is doubtful whether or not it will receive any more than passing attention. In addition to the protest about the appointment the firemen will also present a request that the Lordship company be supplied with equipment which they claim they have been waiting for. It is claimed that they have been waiting for this equipment for two years, but have received nothing despite what they claim is urgent need for it. When contacted about the protest, Town Manager William Shea told a Stratford News reported that the selections had been made by himself and Fire Chief Allen Judson as the men best qualified for the positions. They were appointed only after a careful investigation had been made and there was no thought of showing discrimination. The action of the town manager and the fire chief was defended by Council Chairman Carleton Schwable who said that he thought the selections were good ones.

May 3, 1942: LORDSHIP PLOTS SECESSION MOVE: Civil War Again Flares Over Job Appointments: Civil war flared in Stratford again last week when it became known that certain elements in Lordship-Stratfords lonely 10th District- were calling for secession from the town government. Citing the raw deals the Lordship firemen and politicians have received from the government in the center of town, the secessionists claimed that the machinery for such a severance had the support of Bridgeport officials. Present plans call for Lordship joining the legion of districts in Bridgeport where the think Mayor McLevy would give them a voice in the government. The question will be aired in an Aldermanic session in Bridgeport this Tuesday night. At that time, Bridgeport officials are expected to investigate the possibilities of throwing not only Lordship but also the First Stratford District out of the Stratford Town government and catching them on the rebound for an addition to Bridgeport. Bridgeports interest in the districts is centered in the Bridgeport airport now in Stratfords 10 District and in a right-of-way to the airport area which would be District One. Although the government takes over the airport for the duration, Bridgeport figures peace will find the two districts valuable additions to the Park City. The secession would be accomplished through a special act of the State Legislature which conceivably could be obtained with the support of Bridgeport politicians. Although none of the Lordship secessionists would allow themselves to be quoted, they told The Herald yesterday that Stratford Town government had irked them for the last time. The movement still is in the secretive stage and all of the leaders fear to come out in the open and admit membership in the revolutionary party. Although the project has been discussed by Lordship residents for many years, it had not been heard for several years until the feud over the appointment of Stratford firemen brought it into the limelight again recently. The secessionists say they are giving Town Manager Bill Shea one more chance to appoint a fireman from Lordship and if that appointment is not made at the earliest opportunity, the revolt will take place. The attitude of the rest of Stratford in the activities of Lordship can be summed up in the opinion of Council Chairman Carleton Schwable. Asked what he thought of the pending revolt last night, Schwable was blunt: Good, that is fine he retorted. If Lordship leaves the Town, it will cut down the number of headaches the Town Government now has to about half he said.


July 16, 1943: LORDSHIP GETS NEW BUFFALO PUMPER AFTER TWENTY-ONE YEARS: Engine To Be Discarded Went Into Service in 1922: Lordship will get Stratfords new Buffalo 750-gallon pumper, Engine No. 1 within a few days. The Lordship apparatus which will be displaced by it has been in service twenty-one years, almost to the day when the new No. 1 arrived early this month from Allentown, Pa., for testing. The new pumper is at the Central Fire Station near Town Hall, awaiting transfer to the Lordship fire station. It will be sent down there as soon as finishing touches are completed. No. 1 pumper is a sister piece of apparatus to No. 3 regularly housed at the Central Station, so far as water-throwing power and other equipment are concerned, except that it does not carry the ladders familiar on No. 3. The new No.1 was delivered here with its metal work in brass, which does not correspond to the chromium finish which is standard on Stratford apparatus. Priority rulings, it appears, prevent manufacturers from using chromium, but do not prevent a town from obtaining the necessary material. So these fixtures on No. 1 are being so finished. Like other Stratford apparatus, the new pumper was built by a division of the Mack Truck Company, which has a plant at Allentown for supplying fire apparatus to municipalities and to other fire departments, private or public.

July 23, 1943: NEW FIRE PUMPER LODGED IN LORDSHIP FIRE HOUSE MONDAY: Fire Chief Allen Judson on Monday sent the new 750-gallon pumper to the Lordship Fire Station and it is there permanently. The transfer was without ceremony, Stratford Engine No. 1 just being sent down there when it had received all finishing touches at the Central Fire Station. The 21-year-old engine which it replaces will not be discarded during the war but will be held in reserve at Lordship in hopes it may be useful in dump fires, grass fires and the like without rolling out the more expensive apparatus.

October 18, 1946: WILL SELL OLD FIRE PUMP FOR HIGH CASH: Town Manager Harry Flood on Monday was authorized unanimously by Council to sell the old pumping engine in the Lordship Firehouse, which is on a Mack truck chassis purchased in 1915. The vehicle has been a subject of frequent debate in recent years. Manager Flood told Council the engine has outlived its usefulness and may as well be sold. Herman Leveen and Frank Larkin promptly moved that he do so. Edward Hawie raised a natural question. Last year or not very long ago, anyhow he recalled, strong objections were spoken in this Council against selling the truck and we decided not to. What is the answer? I think these objections were entirely for sentimental reasons, said Chairman Peter Ring Jr. The pump is no longer usable even for pumping out cellars. It certainly is not worth keeping, Mr. Leveen declared. Manager Flood added a closing comment that the truck has pretty good tires which may make the whole shebang worth something to a contractor. The Buffalo pump which was been at the Central Fire Station near Town Hall for years will be sent to the Lordship Firehouse to replace the 1915 Mack truck pump.


1941 opening


New Firehouse


Firehouse 1941


1953 Christmas


1954 Cottage Fire


1954 Long Beach fire


1954 Long Beach fire


Fires 1942


New Firehall


1956 Fire department


Firemen Bazaar


LVF Christmas 1958


Captain Lockwood


Cornerstone 1963



November 13, 1949: CHIEF BANS GAMBLING BY FIREMEN: Aroused by a regular firemans wife, who complained that her husband was gambling away their life savings around the card table in the Lordship Firehouse, Stratford Fire Chief Allen Judson this week decreed that poker playing must cease in the Stratford Road quarters. The woman whose identity was withheld, had written to Town Hall, officials turned the matter over to Chief Judson who at first declined to act because the volunteer unit is maintained on a private basis and financially not connected with the paid force. However after a series of discussion on the matter, Judson posted a notice in the Lordship company rooms signifying that gambling must stop or else. At the same time, The Bridgeport Herald learned that merchants in the Lordship district were complaining bitterly over the volunteer companys new candy vending which was adopted for the purchase of a television set. The merchants maintain that this commercial effort cuts into their business and should be halted.

December 11, 1949 - $3,000 BLAZE DESTROYS LORDSHIP BEACH COTTAGE: A summer cottage at Lordship beach, Stratford, burned to the ground last night about 8 pm, a loss estimated at about $3,000 by Fire Captain Reginald Judson. The cottage owned by Mrs. Constance Whitright of Bridgeport was located 2,000 feet west of Fifth Avenue and the nearest fire hydrant too far for the quantity of two and one half inch hose carried by the Lordship Volunteer Fire Company truck. The lack of sufficient hose and other equipment was one of the complaints made recently by the volunteer company to Councilman Wallace Lineburgh, of the Tenth District who at Mondays council meeting will ask an investigation of the Stratford Fire department. The building was enveloped in flames when the firemen responded to an alarm given by a passerby and although additional apparatus was summoned from fire headquarters the cottage was beyond saving when the other truck arrived. The volunteers used one inch hose attached to the 300 gallon booster tank to wet down the surrounding cottages and prevent the spread of the fire and remained on the scene two hours soaking the embers. A large crowd assembled, attracted by the flames which were visible for some distance. The origin of the blaze remained unexplained since no one had used the cottage since Monday, according to Mrs. Whitrights mother, Mrs. Florence Tierney. The owner is now in Ohio. However a police investigation of the neighboring houses disclosed that four buildings east of Mrs. Whitrights cottage had been broken into by intruders who sprung the lock on the rear door. Dishes had been used and were left on the table in the kitchen, but whether anything was stolen will not be known until the owner James Oris of Stratford makes a check. Mrs. Whitrights cottage was located next door to a cottage owned by William Cronin, superintendent of mails in the Bridgeport Post Office which was destroyed by fire about a year ago. Under Stratford ordinance, no beach cottage which is destroyed to the extent of more than 50 percent may be rebuilt.

December 2, 1954 - FIREMEN TO STAGE PARTY IN LORDSHIP: The Lordship Volunteer Fire Company will stage its annual Christmas party for the children of the Lordship area on December 19 at 2:30 p.m., in the firehouse, Capt. Fred Kuhn, has announced. The party will be open to all children between two and eight years of age who reside in Lordship. Parents have been requested to register their children for the party at the firehouse or at the Lordship Community store. Santa Claus will be on hand for the party, which has become a tradition in the beach area, and there will be presents and candy for each child.


Fire 1949


Fire 1949


Fire 1949


Fire Engine 1943


Buffalo & Mack Fire engines

May 3, 1955: Lordship Firemen Plan Parade and Memorial Program May 22 - The Lordship Volunteer Fire company will have its annual Memorial exercises and street parade in the Lordship district on May 22. There will be a street parade starting at the fire house on Prospect Drive at 1:30 p.m., and Memorial exercises at the town green, Pauline Street and Stratford Road shortly after 2 p.m. The Stratford American Legion Drum and Bugle Corps, the Stratford PAL Drum Corps, the High school band, the Bridgeport Pipe band, marching units from the Lordship school. Boy, Girl and Sea Scouts as well as Cubs, the Auxiliary of the American Legion and the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Volunteer firemen will be in the line of march.

March 29, 1955 - FIREBELLES TO MEET: A meeting of the Lordship Firebelles, an auxiliary unit of the Lordship Volunteer fire company, will take place tonight at 8 o'clock in the Lordship firehouse. Mrs. Doris Beeman will preside. Mrs. Helen Biebel is hostess.

December 22, 1956 - LORDSHIP FIREMEN READY FOR CHILDRENS PARTY: More than 40 children from three to seven years' of age are expected to attend the annual Christmas party of the Lordship Volunteer fire department Sunday at 2:30 p.m., in the Lordship Firehouse. Each child must be accompanied by an adult. Registration will close today at Marino's store in the Lordship business center. Santa Claus will tour Lordship prior to distributing gifts at the firehouse.


LVFDept officers


LVFDept firemen


LVFD and Brownies


LVFD with truck


LVFD officers


LVFD Company

December 13, 1957: Lordship Firemen Set Date For Children's Christmas Party: More than 500 children from the Lordship area ranging in age from three through seven years will be the guests of the Lordship Volunteer Fire Company December 22 at the annual Christmas Party. The affair will be staged in the Lordship firehouse beginning at 2 pm and Santa Claus will be present to distribute gifts and goodies to the children. Advance registration is required and parents may register the children in Lordship center and pick up the necessary tickets from Fred Marino. A special program of entertainment is planned.

July 16, 1958: LORDSHIP FIREMEN WORKED 253 MANHOURS IN JUNE: During the month of June, members of the Lordship Volunteer fire company worked 253 man hours in the Lordship firehouse. Assistant Chief Frederick Wilcoxson says in a report on volunteer activities submitted to Town Manager Harry Flood. The volunteers put in 116 hours of night duty and slept in the firehouse a total of 137 hours in the absence of paid members of the department. The men engaged in resuscitator drill during the month as a part of their training program.

December 12, 1959 - JAMES ATKINS NAMED BY LORDSHIP FIREMEN: James Atkins has been elected Captain of the Lordship Volunteer Fire company for the new year. Other officers elected at the annual meeting include First Lieutenant George French; Second Lieutenant Thomas Allen; Secretary Pat Parella, treasurer and Fred Donaldson as Drill Master. Fire Chief Theodore Lockwood has informed the company they now have permission to enroll volunteer firemen with a minimum age of 18 years who pass the town physical examination. The membership of the company will be increased to 50 with James Romano as chairman of membership. Applications may be obtained at the Lordship firehouse.


SVF Hall


Firemen 1954


Organizations 1954


SVF Hall


LVF cornerstone


1960 Skating rink


Fire swamps



May 19, 1960 - MEMORIAL PARADE CANCELLED LORDSHIP FIREMEN ANNOUNCE: There will be no Firemen's Memorial parade in Lordship this year. The annual event sponsored by the Lordship Volunteer Fire Company has been cancelled because of the lack of interest on the part of both marching and musical units. In place of the memorial parade and exercises at the Memorial Green on Pauline Street, Jefferson Street and Stratford Road, the firemen plan a brief Memorial service on Memorial Day at 9:30 am with the placing of a wreath at the monument. The volunteer firemen will march on that morning from the Lordship firehouse to the green for the service. Taps will be sounded by Anthony Malafronte Jr., of Lordship.

May 13, 1962 - LORDSHIP COMMUNITY BUILDING GOING UP: This is an architect's sketch of the community building being constructed by the Lordship Volunteer Fire Company on land donated by the Town Council in the rear of the town-owned Lordship firehouse. The volunteers, directed by Captain Fred Donaldson, plan to use the building as a gathering place for the youth of the area and more than 20 other organizations in Lordship will have a meeting place. All funds for the building are being provided by the volunteer firemen from civic affairs which they have sponsored. They also annually sponsor publication of a Lordship directory for the residents of the area.

July 20, 1962: Lordship Firemen Set For Four Day Carnival: The Lordship Volunteer Fire Company reports all plans completed for the annual four-day bazaar and carnival scheduled from July 25 through July 28 on the firehouse grounds, Prospect Drive in Lordship. The public has been invited to participate. All proceeds are used to further the civic program of the fire company. There will be the traditional carnival booths, games, music and special entertainment each night.

May 3, 1964 - 200 IN TRIBUTE TO RETIRING FRED DONALDSON: More than 200 townspeople, town officials and fire department officers from area communities last night paid tribute to Fred "Smokey" Donaldson who has retired as captain and as a member of the Lordship Volunteer fire company after more than 33 years of service. The testimonial took place in the Lordship Volunteer fire hall with A. E. Woodard as general chairman. The dinner and program was sponsored by the volunteer fire company and the Lordship Fire Belles auxiliary of the fire company. Town Manager Richard Blake, Fire Chief Theodore Lockwood, Police Chief John Geary, former Town Manager Harry Flood and Councilman Walter Auger were among the many officials who spoke of the long years of service given to the town the guest of honor. Seated with guests were Mr. and Mrs. Fred Donaldson, parents of the retiring volunteer fire captain. Mr. Donaldson Sr. was the first volunteer firemen in the Lordship area and was the first regular fulltime fireman assigned to the Lordship district. He retired from the department many years ago. Except for the World War II years when he was a member of the Chance-Vought fire corps. "Smokey", as he is affectionately known to all Lordship residents and fire fighters, has been an active member of the Lordship volunteer company all of his adult life.

March 16, 1966 - TOWN FIREMEN GET PHONE LINK: Chief Theodore S. Lockwood of the Stratford Fire department said this morning that the direct telephone line to Bridgeport Airport in Lordship is in service. He said a call from the tower to the Stratford headquarters station on the red telephone will bring out engine 1, 2 and emergency 1 from headquarters station company 1, and also engine 4 and booster 3 from Lordship Station Company 3. Chief Lockwood said if a large plane is in difficulty, "everything goes" and all available equipment will be sent to the field. Fire engines from headquarters station will enter the field through the Main street gate, stop at the hangar and wait for a radio car escort. Engines from Lordship Station Company 3 will use the Lordship Boulevard entrance, will enter the field and will stop to wait for a radio car escort. Chief Lockwood said the radio car escort is necessary because there is no direct communication with the tower. The escort cars will be guided by the tower.

February 27, 1968: WIND SPREAD BLAZE RAVAGES 6 COTTAGES: Six summer beach cottages were either destroyed or badly damaged Monday afternoon by flames spread by gusty winds off Long Island Sound. Twenty firemen remained at the scene of the blaze in the Short Beach section of town as the spread of flames was brought under control early in the night. Authorities were unable to trace the cause of the fire.

APRIL 16, 1971: FIRE SENDS FLAMES HIGH AT LORDSHIP MARSHLANDS: Fire swept an area of several acres of marshland along the southern boundary of Bridgeport Municipal airport property in Stratford today at 10 a.m., momentarily threatening several homes along Oak Bluff Avenue in the Lordship section. Bridgeport firefighters from Engine Co. 8, Newfield Avenue and Stratford firemen from the Lordship station were dispatched to the scene and battled the flames which reached several hundred feet in the air at one point. Strong winds carried heavy smoke and smoldering embers from the blaze over the Lordship area, filling several homes with smoke. Intense heat from the blaze sent many residents scurrying for garden hoses and parents went looking for children to get them off the smoke-filled streets. Airport personnel and airport police assisted firemen at the scene for nearly an hour until the blaze was brought under control. FAA control tower personnel reported the area involved was away from main runways and did not affect air traffic operations at the airport.

The Lordship Volunteer firemen today

The Lordship Volunteer firemen conduct a memorial service every Memorial Day at the Memorial Green in Lordship Center. The firemen and Lordship residents honor the 6 men who gave their all in service to our country. The firemen also have a Christmas Tree lighting ceremony complete with Santa each year. Below are some photos from 2009. The firemen also take care of the entire green by mowing the grass, triming the shrubs and general maintenance.


Christmas Tree 2009


Reindeer 2009


Firetruck 2009


Christmas Tree 2009


Santa Claus


Christmas 2009